Hello, friends. It has been a rough couple of days over in the world of Jan, and I haven’t had the chance to really sit and write. Also, I was kind of putting off writing this post, because it’s a really, really sad post. You have been warned.
Here’s the question for Day 10 of A Geeky Gal’s 30 Day Video Game Challenge.
Day 10: What game destroyed you emotionally?
As soon as I saw this question, I immediately knew the answer. This game destroyed me then, and still destroys me to this day, because it’s a real, terrifying thing to think about.
The game is called That Dragon, Cancer.
That Dragon, Cancer was created by Ryan and Amy Green, who lost their young son, Joel, after a long, hard battle with cancer. This immersive, gorgeous, point and click game is told from the father’s perspective, and shows all of the high and lows of raising a child with a terminal illness. It deals with marital stress, grief, loss… it’s heavy.
My son was just a year old when I first played That Dragon, Cancer (yep, I played it more than once). The same age that baby Joel was when he was diagnosed with cancer. I can’t even imagine what they went through, and the thought makes my chest hurt. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare, and they lived it. That, coupled with losing both my uncle and my grandmother to cancer, just hit me like a semi truck.
I cried through the entirety of this game. There is one scene in the game, where you walk through an empty hospital, and there are lines and lines of cards hanging around the walls and ceilings, and all of the cards are from family members who lost someone to cancer. And they’re all real. All of them are real. And there’s hundreds of them.
It’s overwhelming, and emotional, and so painful.
The game ends with the credits, which were filled with pictures of Joel. It absolutely ruined me. I knew that the game was a true story, but actually seeing this sweet, beautiful, little boy… it ruined me. I cried myself to sleep that first night after playing it, and cried off and on for the next two days.
Fuck, I’m actually crying writing this right now.
Check the game out for yourself. It’s beautiful, and painful, and so well done… but it will destroy you. It’s on Steam. I need to go hug my son right now.
Thanks for reading.
You can read the rest of my 30 Days of Video Games posts here.